Harry Styles is no stranger to being talked about. But his latest Twitter post has really set the Internet’s skirt flapping.
Styles, unlike his fellow former One Direction bandmates, has had an incredibly successful solo career. His second studio album Fine Line, released late last year, has done gangbusters: certified platinum thanks to singles like Watermelon Sugar and Adore You, it broke the record as the biggest debut from a British male artist of all time.
Music aside, he’s also carved out a reputation as one of the most forward-thinking style icons of the modern era. In particular, the handsome English musician has been one of the most notable proponents of degendering haute couture, regularly stepping out in lace, dresses, pantsuits and wearing big earrings among other fashion choices.
Styles’ recent appearance on the cover of US Vogue wearing a long blue Gucci gown and black tuxedo jacket sent shockwaves around the globe. The 26-year-old is the first man to ever appear on the cover of the famous magazine, and his non-binary style immediately drew eyeballs. It prompted widespread praise and parody (such as this skit by Jimmy Fallon), but also attracted criticism from conservative commentators. Controversial pundit Candace Owens was one notable detractor, tweeting “bring back manly men” in response to the cover.
Now it seems Styles has hit back – sharing a photo from his most recent magazine feature with Variety, again in women’s clothes, this time rather suggestively eating a banana. The caption? “Bring back manly men.” Now that’s what we call a rebuttal.
Bring back manly men. pic.twitter.com/Y3XqXX4qaY
— Harry Styles. (@Harry_Styles) December 2, 2020
Twitter had plenty of praise for Styles, with even some high-profile accounts weighing in. The Sony corporate Twitter account called him the “king of ruffles”, and comedian Matt Bellassai replied with “bring back making eye contact while eating a banana”.
Owens, on her part, seemed strangely stoked with Styles’ comeback. “When people try to tell me I don’t have influence, and then Harry Styles dedicates an entire post to my tweet… I inspire global conversation,” she tweeted in response.
Our take? Our eternal reference point for these kinds of debates will always be the remark made by Chris Evans when Piers Morgan called out Daniel Craig for wearing a papoose in 2018.
You really have to be so uncertain of your own masculinity to concern yourself with how another man carries his child. Any man who wastes time quantifying masculinity is terrified on the inside. https://t.co/9jsHZ3WKRn
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) October 16, 2018
Styles is not alone in sticking a middle finger to sartorial conventions, with Australian tailor Patrick Johnson, for one, recently speaking to DMARGE about his penchant for Kurtas.
“I live in these all summer,” he told us, showing off a cotton seersucker number.
“They’re really good as a nightshirt, great to wear to the beach, and you can also wear them a bit more formally.”
‘The man who can wear anything’, Richard Biedul, also spoke to DMARGE earlier this year, saying he doesn’t mind a bit of experimental dressing.
“As we move from spring to summer I tend to adopt a more relaxed attitude to my dressing. From Monday to Friday, gone are the structured suits, starched shirts and knitwear, replaced with lightweight, deconstructed tailoring and accessories in breathable natural fabrics. The emphasis here should be on comfort rather than formality.”
Turning back to Harry Styles: the heartthrob appeared in Variety as their 2020 Hitmaker of the Year, discussed his musical career as well as posed for a number of different photos. The ensemble he wore for the banana-chomping cover photo came courtesy of Palomo Spain, but he also donned some Gucci-heavy outfits for some other shots. (One of his best mates is Alessandro Michele, the current creative director of Gucci, and Styles frequently wears pieces from the Italian luxury house).
Styles is set to star in the upcoming psychological thriller film Don’t Worry Darling, directed by Olivia Wilde and also starring Florence Pugh and Chris Pine.